I'm using Raspbmc. I'd like the display to actually go to sleep (not simply just screensaver) after 15 minutes, but I can't seem to find any option for that in the settings. Am I missing something?

  • 2
    There are many people in the same boat. raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=13801 They discuss this issue in detail, and have several fixes. They use the tvservice command, with some work arounds. Have a look, hope it helps. – Impulss Jan 22 '13 at 4:20

Case 1 : for x11 with no auto start X

$ vim ~/.xinitrc

xset s off # don't activate screensaver
xset -dpms # disable DPMS (Energy Star) features.
xset s noblank # don't blank the video device

Case 2 : for X11 with auto start X

Follow the instructions for Case 1, then

$ vim /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

xserver-command=X -s 0 -dpms

cd ~/.config
mkdir autostart
cd autostart
vim screensaver.desktop

[Desktop Entry]

Case 3 : bash without X

$ sudo vim /etc/kbd/config


$ sudo /etc/init.d/kbd restart
  • Hey @Gilles, welcome to RPi.SE. Great answer. It would be even better if you could add a link to your references and/or add some commentary to help beginners along the way. – Alex Chamberlain Aug 30 '13 at 7:14
  • This just disables the screensaver entirely. How do you set X to use a screensaver after a specific amount of time? – Macil Feb 27 '15 at 7:49

There is an undocumented option in /boot/config.txt that might help you:


Tried and tested under Raspbian "Jessie" (not Raspbmc). The display goes to sleep after about 10 minutes of inactivity. Source: https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/487

[Note that the Pi itself cannot sleep like grown-up PC-s do.]


In order to "ENABLE" power management options on Raspbian

GUI version:

sudo apt-get install xscreensaver

(might take a while to install)

You then find the screensaver application in Start > Preferences

Select the first tab Display Modes

Set Mode to "Blank Screen Only"

Set Blank After to "15" minutes"

Select the second tab Advanced

Enable Quick Power-Off in Blank Only Mode

I would recommend to leave Quick Power-Off in Blank Only Mode values for "Standby After, Suspend After and Off After" as default

Please note, that the screensaver daemon might not autostart on reboot

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